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Events today, Saturday celebrate sovereignty
South Bend Tribune - South Bend, Ind.
Author: Mumford, Lou
Date: Sep 23, 2011
Start Page: A.3
Abstract (Document Summary)

They didn't for Pokagon, a teetotaler who had converted to Catholicism just three years before. [Mike Zimmerman Jr.] said Pokagon held out for "sub articles" to the treaty stipulating that his band had five years to relocate to Indian lands in what's now the Petoskey and Traverse City area.

when Pokagon journeyed to what he believed would be the tribe's new home in 1838, he found that land, too, had been ceded to the government through yet another treaty. Pokagon returned to the area he'd just left, using the annuity from the Chicago treaty to purchase property for his band in Silver Creek Township, Zimmerman said.

The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 opened the door to sovereignty but the Pokagon Band was left out, as were many tribes, apparently because the government didn't have the money to accommodate them all with proper reservations. The band's attempt to reaffirm its standing with the government went nowhere for 60 years until U. S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, and then U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer, D-South Bend, intervened, pointing to the federal government's promise to Leopold Pokagon as proof of the tribe's right to be recognized as a Michigan entity.

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